The Top 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of The Toronto Winter Brewfest

(photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

Beer festival season has officially begun and to kick it all off the Toronto Winter Brewfest has returned for it’s second straight year. After listening to their guests from last year about what could be improved it is guaranteed to better than ever.  For two days ( March 24-25, Enercare Centre, Toronto) you can join the masses of Toronto beer lovers, nibble on delectable eats, groove to the funky beats of local DJ’s and of course sample over 150 different beers from around our great country all while staying warm and dry. And for the first time they will be introducing a cashless system using a RFID wristband that will get you through the lines and the beer into your mouth faster.

There isn’t much I need to say to convince any beer lover to attend so instead here are my top five ways for you to get the most out of your day.

(photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

  1. Get There Early. 

    As the saying goes the early bird gets the worm.  In this case the early beer drinker gets the shortest lines and full kegs.  Don’t be that person who shows up three hours in and complains they can’t that special rare pour from their favorite brewer. Be the person who has tried it three times cause they came early.

    (photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

  2. Ease In.

    I know with all that variety it’s like being a kid in a candy store but don’t go running around gobbling up the Belgian quads and Imperial Stouts. Start light and work up. Don’t be that person who taps out an hour in.

    (photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

  3. Try Something New.

    I understand we all have our styles and breweries of choice. The ones we know won’t disappoint. But with over 150 different beers available right there in front of you step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Ask the brewery to recommend something. I like to say “surprise me” as I hand over my glass. Don’t be that person that spends all their money in one place.

    (photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

  4. Talk To People.

    It’s a long day pulling glass after glass, trying to keep up with the lines.  Make a point to say something to the person that is pouring your sample. Keep it quick and simple so you don’t hold up any lines. Or if a representative of the brewery is there ask them a question or compliment their work. They are the best resource to finding other beers you will enjoy and quite frankly deserve the extra love from the community for all their hard work.  Also talk to people around you. We are all there for the same reason. Beer. Don’t be the wallflower.

    (photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

  5. Remember We Are Not Saving The World Here.

    It’s a beer festival people. Get off your high horse. Leave your snobby beer terminology at home (trust me this will be a tough one for me). Just enjoy yourself. We are drinking beer. We are not curing diseases. HAVE FUN!!! Don’t be the person with less social media followers than when they arrived.

Tickets are still available so make sure you get yours today and say hi if you see me!

(photo courtesy of Ottawa Brewfest)

Pray Tell

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Walking in the door of Pray Tell at College and Ossington I think I’m in a wine bar.  Dimmed lighting, 80’s modern decor and an abundance of greenery defy the snack bar concept I’m about to explore.

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The idea of a restaurant where you can have a few drinks and some nibbles instead of a full-fledged meal is not embraced nearly enough in the city. After the success of sister restaurant Track and Field owners Nickie Minshall and Dustin Keating decided they wanted something more food related and brought in Chef Sonia Mondino (Note Bene, Patois, Home of the Brave, Porchetta and Co.)

Travelling across Asia at the time Mondino had yet to star in a kitchen as head chef and knew this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.  Passionate not only about the food, Mondino cares just as much about her staff who she considers family. Her travels play a huge role in her seasonally changing menu.

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Crispy Dumplings are served with an au jus (from the braised short ribs) and they are exactly how you want your dumplings to taste. The crispy addition of the potato starch is both addictive and mind-blowing.

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Roasted Garlic in a Clementine oil, with honey and olives requires multiple requests for more sourdough bread as you want to devour every last drop.

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Mondino’s signature dish is by far the perfection that is her pizza pockets.  This college student staple has been updated using lemon herb oil alongside meat Bolognese and lot’s of melty cheese. A vegetarian option is also available.

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While at first glance it appeared wine bar-esque, Pray Tell is actually a brilliant spot to get a killer cocktail or pint of beer. Bar manager Max Brunke has created a perfect accompaniment to Mondino’s ever changing, outstanding menu. Soups, heartier mains and more are slowly finding their place.

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Pray Tell is one of those places that draws you in time and again.  A spot for a first date, late night snack, after work tipple or even a moment of peace on your own the warmth Mondino exudes to everyone through her hospitality and food makes everyone feel at home.

Pray Tell

838 College Street

Dirty Food Eatery

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Dirty Food Eatery is a name worth explaining. While the connotation around the word “dirty” could conjure up visions of pestilence and filth when paired with “food” it invokes simple, down home, taste first dishes that prefer pretty delicious over pretty looking.

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After a year of getting their feet wet catering weddings and corporate events Leslie Wilks and Jonathan Iskiw have brought their little eatery to the storefront; opening a new brunch and breakfast hot spot in the junction. Bright and simple lines in their decor help relax a bustling crowd enjoying salads, sandwiches and egg-centric offerings.

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Everything that can be made in house is; from the cured meats, pickled vegetables and pillowy pierogis. Typical brunch fare dominates the menu but small touches from Chef Iskiw’s fine dining background brings each dish to a higher level.

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Double brined friend chicken is juicy yet enveloped in a crisp, deep fried batter and highlighted with a jalapeno syrup. Vinegary collards greens on the Egg’s Jenny (named after Wilks’ sister) cuts through the hollandaise like butter.

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With the areas’ neighbourhoods rebuilding and regentrifying a simple yet flavour forward brunch spot is a welcoming site. Both Wilks and Iskiw believe “dirty” is both a good and delicious idea while being uncomplicated and hope their restaurant continues to express those important basics.

Dirty Food Eatery
3070 Dundas Street West
416-855-3393

Cherry Street BBQ

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The Portlands just got smokier and in a very good way.

For those who don’t know, pit smoking bbq involves cooking meat over a wood burning pit or grill at a constant temperature for a long time. Low and slow. Those familiar with the technique and taste can rejoice in the opening of Cherry St BBQ.

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With the burgeoning Canary District a few blocks away its location among manufacturing plants, circus tents and axe throwing warehouses isn’t really that much of a brow furrower.  In fact with its rather remote-to-suburbia location it allows the patio and it’s live music or DJ to pump long and loud while the constant smoke from its “pits” leaves the teary eyes to its masters and maybe an alley cat or two.

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Walk into the restaurant and order your food from a butcher paper list of meats and sides then wander to the bar for a drink. Beer is a given but cocktails will surprise. Grab one of the many seats in this a bright and woody space or if you come at the right time you may even score a seat on the patio while enjoying the views of the “six”.

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It is not the decor or neighbourhood ambience that brings you back to Cherry Street. Forever learning from BBQ masters around the continent, Pit master Lawrence Lapiante has created a simple yet effective menu in educating the city on proper southern BBQ. Whether it is the salt and pepper brisket,  sweet and sour pulled pork or finger sticky ribs each item on the menu is meticulously smoked at the right temperature for the right amount of time. A technique a lot harder than it looks.

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Sides change up seasonally and can include a gooey Mac and cheese, tart coleslaw and beans that have been brilliantly simmered underneath the fat dripping meat in the smoker. And in true Texas form each brisket is served with a slice of white bread, pickles, onions and jalapenos for the perfect impromptu sandwich.

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Take the time to visit this neighbourhood restaurant.  In an area slowly giving way to more places to eat and hang out Cherry Street BBQ is not only a beacon in a food desolate area but a mainstay for years to come.

Cherry Street BBQ

275 Cherry Street, Toronto

416-461-5111

Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza

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With its first franchise settled comfortably in Boston, Massachusetts,  s brings to Toronto the provinces first coal fired style pizza, nestles in a small but well located plaza a stone throw from tourist heavy St. Lawrence Market.

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While the visitors to the city will enjoy a brief respite over steadfast Italian American cuisine, it’s the locals that will surely benefit from this thin crusted, crispy pie.

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Coal fired pizzas means a cracker like dough with little rise and charcoaled bottom all cooked in a super hot oven reaching temperatures over 900 degrees. Versions include a classic margherita of gooey cheese, pungent basil and drippy sauce and then toppings escalate into adventurous picks like crispy duck and shaved truffles.

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Don’t get hung up on just the pizzas. Starters include a substantial caprese salad, additive polentas fries and gluttonous cheese dripping arancini.

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Pasta choices are also abundant and perfect for sharing. Again classics like spaghetti and meatballs are peppered through a list that includes orecchiette with sausage and chick peas or strozzapreti with veal ragu.

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If you have room for more don’t skip out on dessert. Caramel pear gelato is a refreshing apertif and is just one delectable sweet ending among bombolones and cake.

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Toronto is not short on new and unique pizza styles and creative toppings. Anyone who loves a good quality slice will find exactly that at Angelo’s. Enjoy the full menu experience and you’ll have found so much more.

Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza

106 Front St. E

647-347-2625

Food Truck Friday: Vegan Extremist

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Name of your food truck?

The Vegan Extremist

Owners names?

Jeff Merkel

Why did you start a food truck?

Ambition and opportunity.

What do you serve?

Curry. Vegan curry. Curry is our specialty and our selling point. Our mission is to introduce people to vegan food that is beyond boring veggie burgers.

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Your favorite items on the menu?

We’ve done a lot of cool things this summer, but my favorite has to be the Singapore Rip & Dip. I grew up in Singapore eating Roti Prata, so to recreate it as a vegan dish and introduce it to Canadians was a great experience.

The most popular item on your menu?

Our signature dish is the Indian Chickpea Curry. It’s a crowd favorite, and although we rotate our menu often, we always have this dish on the menu.

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

The spicy pickle! Although it is just a side to be added to your dish, it adds a whole new dimension to the experience. Salty, sour, and hot – if you haven’t tried it yet, add it to your dish next time.

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

Probably when we just started and were doing curbside in Hamilton, trying to pull into the only legal parking spot, blocking traffic and driving on the wrong side of the road. We definitely had some crazy days back then.

But nowadays, we’re so used to working 50 hour weekends that I’d say the entire food truck experience is a crazy story.

Where can people find you?

All over the Toronto area at festivals and events, and we will soon be rolling up curbside in Toronto!

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

We will soon! Keep your eyes peeled!

Food Truck Friday: Burgatory

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Name of your food truck?

Burgatory

Owners names?

Kristen and Alexei Van Peteghem

When did you start a food truck?

2014

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What do you serve?

Gourmet burgers and fries named for the seven deadly sins.

Your favorite items on the menu?

Our Sloth burger is an amazing cheeseburger. Gooey, run down your arm delicious!

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The most popular item on your menu?

The Greed Burger because of the bacon.

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Our hand cut Parmesan Truffle fries are so decadent.

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

One gentleman said our burger saved his marriage.

Where can people find you?

Online at burgatoryfoodtruck.com. On Twitter or Instagram @burgatorycanada.

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Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

We have a restaurant located in the heart of Little Italy at 719 College St. Which in includes a broader menu including Original and Mortal Sin Poutines and gourmet salads named for the Virtues of course.

Cutie Pie Cupcakes

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As a seven year veteran on the cupcake scene, Melanie Abdilla is no stranger to peoples love of desserts. With years of special orders, catering events and wedding season madness under her belt it is no surprise that a store front operation would be next on her list.

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Situated on pedestrian heavy Spadina Avenue, Abdilla has expanded her sweet empire to include hot and cold beverages as well as a showcase for her creative flavour combinations.

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Cupcakes come in bite sized cuties or full sized chubby while the whoopie pies (icing sandwiched between cake)mirror their more traditional cousins in flavours and colours.

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Not sure which taste is for you then splurge on a whoopie kebab.

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It’s the addition of hot and cold drinks that have really brought in the Instagram popular crowd. Greek-style, milk heavy espresso beverages and cold brewed teas help beat the heat alongside the photo popular Unicorn Latte.

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Soft Serve ice cream has rounded out the perfect summer crowd menu; unicorn flavour is also available, as well as steamy morning pick me up, the affogato, soft serve drizzled with a shot of espresso.

As the weather cools down expect even wilder things to come from the kitchens of Cutie Pie Cupcakes.

Cutie Pie Cupcakes

235 Spadina Ave, Toronto

416-992-2882

 

Food Truck Friday: Heirloom

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Name of your food truck?

Heirloom Food Truck

Owners names?

Steffen Marin, Ami Dpasquali

Why did you start a food truck?

Our initiative starting the Food truck was to bring a different twist on Toronto street food. We wanted to pursue the challenge of showcasing real Ontario Food and further helping local farmers as we push sustainability within our community.

What do you serve?

We serve a wide variety of dishes. Our menu changes every event/festival we are at, changing the menu based on the type of crowd we are serving, also based on what is in season in Ontario. We have some staples like our Fried Chicken Sandwich, Duck on a Truck, and Pork Belly. These will always be found with different sauces and garnishes as we love to change it up.

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Your favorite items on the menu?

One of our favourite items is our Duck. We are very close to our King Cole family and it has been a very big hit. The Fries Szechuan Chicken Sandwich & Pork Belly Banh Mi Sandwich are both some of the fan favorites.

The most popular item on your menu?

Our most popular menu items would have to be Duck Tacos, it’s something very different from what the regular Food Truck offers. Also a twist with our Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

It’s not what I wish people would try more as we usually sell out at all our events, it’s the fact I wish people didn’t just think every food truck sells poutine as they should really understand in trying something new.

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

Wayhome might have to be up there in the craziest experiences we had on the truck. Serving over 6000 people in 2 1/2 days was quite an experience as our line lasted 50 deep for a good 9 hours.

Where can people find you?

We are all over the GTA. The best place to find us would be on www.heirloomtoronto.com as as have our scheduled events laid out. Molson Amp is also one of our regular spots for concerts and also many nights at Evergreen Brickworks.

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

We are looking for the right location now, we should have a brick & mortar by Mid October under Heirloom with a more finer dining twist than just the Food truck scene.

Food Truck Friday: Me.n.u

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Name of your food truck?

Me.n.u Food Truck

Owners names?

Bryan Siu-Chong, Allen Tan, Joe Tillo

Why did you start a food truck?

When we graduated from McMaster University in 2011, we wanted to start a business together, and do something new and exciting. Back then there wasn’t too many food trucks in Toronto, but they were super popular in the US. So we made it our mission to start a food truck and here we are, three years later!

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What do you serve?

We serve Asian Fusion Street Food. Every winter we travel to Asia to eat amazing street food and learn how to cook these authentic flavours. Then we come back to Toronto and fuse these flavours together with North American concepts. Our original menu consists of fried riceballs, roti tacos, Asian poutines, and rice boxes.

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Your favorite items on the menu?

The one that started it all: Fried Riceballs!

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The most popular item on your menu?

PEKING DUCK POUTINE

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Our fried riceballs are popular amongst those who follow our business, but they are underrated to people who haven’t heard of them before. “what is it, just rice in a ball?” But once they take the chance to try them, the usual response is “WOW!”

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

Last year when we won the People’s Choice award at the annual AWEStruck event. That makes it two years in a row!

Where can people find you?

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When we are not doing special events or private catering, people can find us at University and College, in front of the Toronto General Hospital. We post our location on our website.

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Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Not yet 😉

Food Truck Friday: Urban Smoke

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Name of your food truck? 

Urban Smoke Food Truck

Owners names? 

Scott Danyshyn and Martin Buckingham

Why did you start a food truck?

A few years back, our owners were inspired by the amazing food truck scene on a staff trip to San Diego for the National BBQ Association Tradeshow. That spurred the launch of our Urban Smoke Food Truck later that year. Urban Smoke is an extension of our Gourmet Group and BBQ Gourmet brands. The goal of the truck is to build brand awareness and expand our BBQ offering even further.

What do you serve? 

Southern Style and Fusion BBQ Cuisine

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Your favourite items on the menu?

My personal favourite is our feature on Saturday at this year’s CNE “The Royal Yorkie”. It’s a homemade Yorkshire Pudding wrap stuffed with our Slow Smoked Beef Brisket, Candied Brussel Sprouts and our BBQ Gravy.  It’s amazing!

The most popular item on your menu?

That would likely be a tie between either our Beef Brisket Poutine or our new Pineapple Express which is a sundae with grilled pineapple spears, scoops of pulled pork, crispy bacon mashed potatoes, chopped coleslaw, topped with our homemade BBQ sauce and shaved coconut.

Most underrated?  Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Hands down that would be our Eddie Vedder Portobello Mushroom Sandwich.  It’s not just for vegetarians….and it is excellent!

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Craziest food truck story/experience? 

Probably our first year at The Ex.  We had a line up from 11am till 11pm each day.  The Food Truck Frenzy was brand new and it was insane. The people of Toronto love food trucks and BBQ!  That’s great for us!  Another amazing experience was being featured on The Food Network’s Eat St. show.  The whole film/production process was intense but so much fun.  The phones wouldn’t stop ringing after our episode debuted.

Where can people find you?

We run concessions at a variety of large scale festivals across the GTA each summer and also cater many private and corporate events.

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well? 

No, but Urban Smoke is part of The Gourmet Group of Companies which also includes full service catering with The BBQ Gourmet and The Breakfast Gourmet. Visit us online at www.thegourmetgroup.com.

Food Truck Fridays: Taco Queso

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Name of your food truck?  

Taco Queso

Owners names?

Dawn Larsh and Armando Vega Ruiz

Why did you start a food truck?

Well, we’ve always wanted to have our own restaurant because we love food, so last year in the summer we had a little bit of extra money and decided to go crazy!

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What do you serve?

Authentic Mexican flavours

Your favorite items on the menu?

hmmm I think it’s a tie between the mushroom tacos and the flautas

The most popular item on your menu?

Our marinated then fried portobello mushroom taco,

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Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Huevos rancheros, holy crap its good!

Craziest food truck story/experience?

Well when we got the trailer we had a minivan, a chevrolet venture, wonderful car if you have a rock band, but turns out not so much to tow a 8000 pound commercial kitchen. So we got our trailer from this crazy guy in Windsor, ON and we live in hamilton, about a 3 hour drive if you take the 401 but around 6 hours if you’re avoiding highways. So we’re coming back home, and it’s kind of late (around  midnight) and we’re towing this monstrosity with our venture and suddenly a big thud and the trailer starts limping. It turns out something happened between the trailers right wheel and the fender that the wheel just kinda ate part of the fender and just burst. We got out and tried to change the tire but we didn’t have a spare, long story short we called CAA, opened an account with them and they came to save our lives. Later that night we got pulled over because the trailer’s lights had suddenly turned off and I was driving on my G1 very late at night, towing this thing. The officer was awesome though. All this happened the very first night we had the trailer. Haha a good initiation. We also had our first gig the next morning.

Where can people find you?

They can find us on instagram!! @feedmetacoqueso, also twitter and facebook, there we post where we are!

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Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Nope, but you can buy us one if you like our tacos.

Food Truck Friday: Fidel Gastro’s

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Name of your food truck? 

Fidel Gastro’s

Owners names? 

Matt Basile

Why did you start a food truck? 

After doing pop ups across the city, landing a food truck just made sense.

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What do you serve? 

Crazy globally inspired street food sandwiches and pad thai fries

Your favorite items on the menu?

The porknado sandwich and the Captain Belly

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The most popular item on your menu?

Pad thai fries

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

It’s pretty even, but maybe the Gorgeous Jorge (peanut butter, pulled pork and bacon jam)

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

I ran out of gas at Dufferin & Dovercourt and blocked the intersection for 2 hours!

Where can people find you?

Twitter and Instagram for details @fidelgastros

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

 Yes, Lisa Marie at Queen and Bathurst

Food Truck Friday: feasTO

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Name of your food truck?

feasTO

Owners names?

Ada Mok and Cameron Pounder

Why did you start a food truck?

We have been in business since 2012, but only part time as a pop-up at various flea and food markets around the city. In 2014, we applied and ended up being casted on AND winning the truck from the Food Network’s ‘Food Truck Face Off’! We couldn’t resist such an amazing opportunity and so we quit our day jobs and started feasTO Food Truck.

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What do you serve?

We mainly serve handmade dumplings, but also other various types of Asian street food, depending on the event.

Your favorite items on the menu?

Dumplings wise, it’s gotta be the OG Pork Dumplings – these are our traditional Original Pork and Bok Choi Dumplings from the family recipe. We also LOVE our Shrimp Wontons, they are deep fried, light and airy shrimp dumplings with a tomyum infused aioli drizzled on top.

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The most popular item on your menu?

Pho Beef Dumplings – it’s like eating a bowl of Pho in dumpling form – fun!

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Chilled Sesame Ramen – it’s not a dumpling but one of our faves, and it’s finally starting to catch on in our second year. We serve it as a side when we do lunch combos, and on its own on longer festival days. It’s a cold noodle dish, delicious and fresh and healthy (and vegetarian!), but a lot of people associate ramen with a hot broth or with Mr. Noodle.

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Craziest food truck story/experience?

Every day is crazy – that’s why we love it! Last year at the Toronto Food Truck Festival in Woodbine Park, we sold record numbers on the first day, but on the second day there was a HUGE MASSIVE thunderstorm that came out of nowhere, and everyone was drenched in a torrential downpour. We ended up letting all our loyal customers who were getting soaked in line squeeze under the awning and onto the truck to get out of the rain, and we all stood inside and chatted and hung out until the storm subsided – it was definitely fun for the customers to be in the truck, and just a crazy way to end one of our biggest events of the season.

Where can people find you?

All over! We do weekday lunches – usually on Bloor, University, King or in Liberty Village. On weekends we are at various festivals and events. We update our daily location on the Toronto Food Trucks app, and post on our Instagram/Twitter/Facebook – @feasTOronto. Our events are also posted on the app and social media but also on our website – www.feasTO.ca

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Not yet! We work out of a commercial kitchen right now, maybe in the future ;)!

Food Truck Friday: Gotham Grill

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Name of your food truck?

Gotham Grill

Owners names?

Hamed Sayah, Nima Kompani

Why did you start a food truck?

We love food! And the idea of having a kitchen on wheels was just too interesting to us!

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 What do you serve?

  • Gotham Burger (Specialty top sirloin beef burger, 100% Hormone-free)
  • Chicken Burger (100% hormone-free Chicken Breast)
  • Veggie Burger
  • Polish Sausage
  • Steak Sandwich (AAA Grade Top Sirloin 100% Hormone-free steak)
  • Chicken Wrap (%100 Hormone-free chicken)
  • Chicken Wings and Fries
  • Popcorn Chicken and Fries
  • Mozzarella Sticks
  • Poutines
    • Regular Poutine
    • Gotham Poutine (Specialty poutine)
    • Steak Poutine (Specialty poutine)
  • Gotham Fries (Specialty poutine)

Your favorite items on the menu?

Very difficult to answer. My personal favourite items are our Gotham Burger and our Gotham Poutine. I can’t get enough of them.

The most popular item on your menu?

Gotham Burger, Gotham Poutine, steak sandwich,

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Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Chicken wings. I think the reason for it is that it’s a little messier to eat. And yes, beer is a must on the side which we unfortunately can’t serve.

Craziest food truck story/experience?

The entire journey so far has been crazy. Both Nima and myself went to Ryerson University for engineering in 2008 and graduated in 2012 with Mechanical Engineering degrees. We started working in the construction industry right away and after 3 years we felt like there was something missing and that was accepting bigger challenges and taking the entrepreneurial path to make a difference even if that difference is very small.  Once that decision was made, it wasn’t long until we knew it was going to be a food truck, considering we are both foodies. Networking in the food industry began to ensure the food brought to the people has the highest quality. Thanks to our friends for connecting us to the greatest chefs of the highest rated hotels, their ideas were implemented in the menu.

Now, that the business is up and running every day is a journey. Meeting with new people is exciting and even more exciting than that is seeing people coming back to us. Certainly they make us feel special.

Where can people find you?

Usually at Church and Bloor. We update our location on Food Trucks Toronto phone app. Also, we update our social media pages almost on a daily basis.


Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Not as of yet. But maybe in the near future.

Food Truck Friday: Fit To Grill

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Name of your food truck?

Fit to Grill

Owners names?

Alon Fuks

Why did you start a food truck?

To conquer the world one delicious sandwich at a time.

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What do you serve?

Nothing then the best this crazy mind has to offer, I like to reminisce about my youth and taking from what I enjoyed to eat as a kid and just hitting it with a lil Southern twist. If you want to sum it up in a few words, it’s as our saying goes FOOD WITH ATTITUDE…F.W.A 4ever

Your favorite items on the menu?

That’s probably the hardest question you can ask, it’s like asking which one of your kids do you love more. I’ve put in a lot of hours to make sure every dish that leaves the truck is a flavor extravaganza. They all have their moments where you just crave one of them. I would say the Wings have been a staple of mine for the longest time.

Fit To Grill Photo 3

The most popular item on your menu?

It’s a tossup between the Smoked Wings and the BBQ Pork Belly Po’Boy.

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

People have to start giving catfish more of a chance. I‘ve had people ask me with such weird looks on their faces “eww why catfish isn’t a bottom Feeder” I reply “Yes but isn’t lobster, and how good is that”. The Masses must order the Catfish Po’boy it’s delicious, kinda nutritious, and quite large if I do say so myself.

Fit To Grill Photo 4

Craziest food truck story/experience?

How can your story get any crazier than you being able to tell people that you won your truck of a food network show battling out others for the top spot on the podium. It took forever to film and sometimes grueling hours, but at the end of the day the right team came out on top with quite a few new scars to show for it.

Where can people find you?

All the Major Music Festivals, Food Truck Frenzy at the Ex, they can visit us at our sister restaurant Spedduci Mercatto.

Fit To Grill Photo 5

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Not exactly as of yet, but it’s always a possibility.

The Chef Cartel

For anyone who stays on top of the Toronto Food scene knows what The Chef Cartel is all about.  For those who don’t? You need to change that immediately. Established in 2015 The Chef Cartel helps promote rising culinary talent or “underground chefs” through socially engaging events.

The Chef Cartel

This Monday will be the The Chef Cartel final which pits chef against chef in a battle to be declared a culinary superstar. Celebrity judges, high pitched fervor in the kitchen and amazing food all come together for one final epic night. Tickets are only $30. Check out the gallery below to see why you need to be apart of this. Its a night of fun, food and entertainment.

Food Truck Friday: Great Canadian Food Truck

Great Canadian Food Truck Photo 1

Name of your food truck?

Great Canadian Food Truck

Owners names?

Danielle Musso

Great Canadian Food Truck Photo 2

Why did you start a food truck?

I wanted to take a truck across the Country and serve peameal/poutines to the 2010 Olympics. Everyone thought I was nuts. 5 years later I wanted to represent Canada and opened the Great Canadian Food Truck.

What do you serve?

Peameal Bacon Sandwiches, Braised Brisket Sammy, Moose Balls, Fish Tacos, Poutines, Breakfast (on occasion), West Coast Hippy (veggie meatloaf)

Great Canadian Food Truck Photo 4

Your favorite items on the menu?

Peameal/ Poutine

The most popular item on your menu?

The GCP. Great Canadian Peameal Sammy

Great Canadian Food Truck Photo 3

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

My soups. I love soup. Soup hasn’t really sold well from my truck. Mind you-it’s always 35 degrees those days.

Craziest food truck story/experience?

I have a lot of fun times with my crew.

Great Canadian Food Truck Photo 5

Where can people find you?

I pick events around my life. I’m a new mom and loving wife. Food Truckn’; serving good food to good people is an expensive hobby.

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Nope. Just me and my truck.

Food Truck Friday: Vesta Lunch On Wheels

Vesta Photo 1

Name of your food truck?

We are part of the Vesta Dinner (474 Dupont Street) Family. Vesta Lunch on Wheels is the mobile branch to give our customers around Toronto an opportunity of having our specials at different locations around the city.

Why did you start a food truck?

Vesta Lunch on Wheels started in order to satisfy our Dinner customers. We wanted to be closer to them in office hours, and we wanted to take it as an opportunity to grow to different locations and meet food truck lovers all over Toronto.

Vesta Photo 4

What do you serve?

Chicken or Beef Tacos served with a spring veggie mix, cheese and our signature Vesta sauce.

Vesta Sausage with onions, ketchup, mustard and signature Vesta sauce.

7oz Ribeye marinated steak with mozzarella, red onions, spring veggie mix and Vesta dressing.

Chicken or Beef Vesta Burrito (spicy or regular) served with rice or fries, mozzarella, spring mix, tomatoes and our signature Vesta sauce.

Vesta Lunch Burger

Poutine

Grilled Cheese with bacon and fries

Vesta Photo 2

Your favorite items on the menu?

7oz Ribeye Steak, I am a big meat eater. One of my favorite moments of the week is when I prepare myself a juicy and cheesy sandwich.

Vesta Photo 3

The most popular item on your menu?

Our cheesy and juicy 7oz Ribeye Steak Sandwich

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

It is hard to tell, we are very fortunate, because all of our items are valued by our customers.

Craziest food truck story/experience?

One night we where outside a bar in College and Bathurst and one customer came to us saying that because he was such a food lover he wanted to give away 100 grilled sandwiches to anyone at the street. We basically pumped up our production in order to have them ready in half an hour, after he did what he said, he just gave them away and kept a couple for himself.

Vesta Photo 5

Where can people find you?

Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at King and John close to the Royal Alexandra Theater

Tuesday and Thursday night outside the Everleigh Club

Wednesday and Friday afternoon at Church and Bloor

Wednesday and Friday night at Wellington and Portland

We try to maintain our locations as much as we can, but if anything happens we make sure our page at http://torontofoodtrucks.ca/?s=vesta+lunch is always updated.

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Yes, we do. Vesta Lunch Dinner, 474 Dupont St.

Levetto Chinatown

Levetto Photo 1

“Franchise”  does not have to be a bad word in the restaurant scene. O&B and La Cubana have the concept down perfectly with each of their venues bringing a different menu and design. Le Carnita, and Burger Priest does franchising right by offering an outstanding product that everyone across the city is clamouring over.  And the newest member of a franchise, Levetto Chinatown is doing a bit of both.  Backed by a solid and delicious menu they have also branch out with their own stand alone signature dish, soon to be Instagram famous.

Levetto Photo 2_01

With simple decor and excellent service, Levetto can concentrate on what it does best; flavour. Chef Shahir Massoud comes with an impressive background having worked with Mario Batali and Saveur magazine. With Levetto he has created a diverse yet compact menu of pastas, pizzas and more.

Levetto Photo 3_01

Homemade pastas are decorated with light delicate sauces. Fresh, creamy cheeses and vibrant herbs showcase several different tomato based sauce making it hard to choose between each option. A perfect carbonara is made how it should be, without cream just egg, bacon and cheese.

Levetto Photo 4_01

Romana-style pizzas are thin and crispy; akin to another no so fancy franchise’s deep dish style but without all the added grease.  Again each is topped with its own personality. Spicy, sweet, cheesy and pungent, each one needs to be tried before you can ever pick a favorite. And thanks to its diverse location Toronto now has a Peking duck pizza.

Levetto Photo 5_01

Three sweet desserts are offered if you still have room for more. Massoud has brought a family favorite to the menu with a warm brown butter and semolina coconut cake that is a light and flakey option.

Each and every dish stands out on its own merit. Whatever location you visit you will get the same flavour, the same quality, the same pride Chef Massoud has brought to each recipe. And lucky for Torontians Levetto has given us another franchise to be excited about.

Levetto

six different location, check website for the one nearest you

Food Truck Friday: Busters Sea Cove

Busters Sea Cove Photo 1

Name of your food truck?

Busters Sea Cove

Owners names?

Tom Antonarakis

Busters Sea Cove Photo 2

Why did you start a food truck?

I thought it was time. After 5 years in my St. Lawrence location it was time to venture into the food truck scene.

What do you serve?

We are strictly a seafood truck serving fish tacos, shrimp tacos, tuna tacos, and lobster rolls. Also a crab cake burger.

Busters Sea Cove Photo 3

Your favorite items on the menu?

Crab cake burger

The most popular item on your menu?

Lobster Roll

Busters Sea Cove Photo 4

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Octopus taco

Craziest food truck story/experience?

The filming of Eat Street. 5 minutes takes 10 hours of filming with James Cunningham.

Busters Sea Cove Photo 5

Where can people find you?

All over Toronto, most events and Greater Toronto, Nathan Phillips Square

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Busters Sea Cove St. Lawrence Market and Busters at 120 Bremner Blvd SFC Building Food Court.

 

 

 

Food Truck Friday: I Love Lasagna

I Love Lasagna photo 1

Name of your food truck?

I Love Lasagna

Owners names?

Efisia LaViola

Why did you start a food truck?

We are in the food business and since everyone loves our lasagna we decided to take it to the streets.

I Love Lasagna photo 2

What do you serve?

Traditional homemade lasagna and cannoli

Your favorite items on the menu?

Wild boar lasagna

I Love Lasagna photo 3

The most popular item on your menu?

Wild boar

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance try?

The Veggie its sooo delicious.

Craziest food truck story/experience?

Haven’t been in the game long enough this is our first season.

I Love Lasagna photo 4

Where can people find you?

Toronto Streets and festivals

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Embassy Grand Convention Centre & Chateau Le Parc

Food Truck Friday: Gourmet Guyz

Gourmet Guyz Photo 1

Name of your food truck? Gourmet Guyz

Owners names? Matthew Fulton

Why did you start a food truck?

I’ve always wanted to own my own kitchen, the food truck offers the best of both worlds; I get to own the truck, I have the ability to create my own menus/dishes but the versatility to take my Kitchen wherever I need it.

Gourmet Guyz Photo 2

 

What do you serve?

Globally inspired creations such as Shawarma Bombs, Meatloaf Grilled cheese, Korean Pork Tacos, Paneer tacos.

Your favorite items on the menu?

The menu changes very often but one of my fav’s is the Sunday Dinner, Slow cooked Beef stew with Potatoes, carrots, peas, and fresh horseradish Stuffed into a Yorkshire Pudding.

Gourmet Guyz Photo 3

The most popular item on your menu?

Shawarma Bombs

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Paneer Taco, Bombay Spiced Paneer (Indian style curd cheese) Pickled red onion, cilantro, curry yogurt, really a tasty dish.

Gourmet Guyz Photo 4

Craziest food truck story/experience?

We had a fairly slow and late start to our inaugural and our first event was Milton St. Fest Jun 6, 2015. The truck didn’t get wrapped in time so we had a temporary one showcasing the design to come.  My equipment had not even been tested if it would light and it was Friday at 4pm the night before. It was very stressful, food was ready to go, I was ready, and thankfully the truck lit perfectly, and we vended our first event without a hitch. Now I’ve done over 70 events!

Where can people find you?

I don’t do much curb side but private plated catering to Street Festivals to carnivals  is where you find me. Check us out @gastrofare on Twitter, gourmetguyz on Facebook and Instagram!

Gourmet Guyz Photo 5

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

No, that may develop down the road but for now I concentrate on building the brand, the food, and the truck.

Taste of Toronto 2016

Taste of Toronto Photo 1

Things are getting hot in Toronto this summer when Taste of Toronto returns to Garrison Common at Fort York June 23-26.

Hot because some of the city’s best restaurants will be showcasing their talents in over 54 amazing dishes. Popular places like Alo, The Drake, Nota Bene and Los Colibris will be delighted your senses with smells and flavours that will make your mouth water.

Hot because you will be wandering throughout the open space of Fort York, relaxing on one of the sponsored patios sipping your cocktail of choice while the summer sun melts away your stresses. Just Soda, Brickworks Cider House, Beau’s and Mill Street Brewery are just some of the libations on hand to cool you down.

Hot because your arms will be filled with wares from the Taste Marketplace.  OKA cheese, Maille mustard, Creekside Winery, Walter’s Caesar Mix and many more will be on hand to fill your kitchen with delicious gourmet specialties and totally take your home entertaining game to the next level.

Taste of Toronto Photo 2

Hot because…..well have you seen chefs out there these days? They are freaking gorgeous.  Watch hotties like Chuck Hughes, Cory Vitiello, Mark McEwan, Miranda Keyes, Elia Herrera and many more as they show their tips and trick of heating up the kitchen through cooking demos, master classes and other hands on events.

If you don’t want to miss on a the hottest event for foodies this summer then get your tickets now.